Tuesday, March 16, 2010

On Pro-Gay Politicians

This is a letter that was made by Courage Philippines head Rolando delos Reyes II on the issue of politicians supporting Ang Ladlad party list this upcoming May elections in particular Joey de Venecia III, Atty. Adel Tamano, Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, and Liza Maza. A copy of this letter was sent to both gentlemen mentioned above, but so far only Mr. De Venecia III has replied back to us. As one can expect the argument centers around "discrimination" of gay people, but I bet this guy has not heard of the principle of just versus unjust discrimination. So, am I going to vote for these guys? The obvious answer is NO. I hope you won't take that as a discriminatory statement.

Mr. De Venecia,

I am writing as a concerned citizen and as a leader of a support group for persons with same-sex attractions Courage Philippines (www.couragephilippines.blogspot.com).

I am saddened by the fact that you openly support the LGBT group Ang Ladlad. Please note the following objections we have against this group, and know that because of your support to them, we and our allies shall be campaigning against you.

1. LADLAD cannot be classified as a sectoral party under R.A.7941 since they do not represent any of the following sectors enumerated in Section 5 :labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, elderly, handicapped, women, youth, veterans, overseas workers, and professionals.

2. LADLAD cannot be classified as a sectoral organization, or a group of citizens or a coalition of groups of citizens who share similar physical attributes or characteristics, employment, interests or concerns. This is because our groups (Courage, Bagong Pag-asa, AfterCall, Ichtus Community, Gentlemen of the Lord - www.presentsanctuary.com and www.bagongpagasa. org) exist. We are support groups and organizations of persons with same-sex attractions (or what popular media calls homosexuals) , but we do not share the same interests and concerns of the group LadLad. This is because we believe that we are not born gay, and that we can change our character and behavior since homosexuality is a product of deep-seated psycho-spiritual developmental concerns which can be addressed properly. Ladlad, on the other hand, believes that homosexuality is inborn and so they are pushing for the legalization of the homosexual lifestyle. Though we may have similar attributes, Ladlad does not represent us.

3. LADLAD may be a political party, since their desire to be represented in Congress is to speed up the passage of the Anti-Discrimination Bill (currently House Bill 956 and Senate Bill 11) pending in Congress, and which our groups have been fighting against in both and national and local arenas (the latest hearing of HB956 happened last December 16, 2008 where three of our groups including myself are represented) . This is clearly part of Ladlad's agenda (http://www.angladla d.org/about. asp), and together with their desire to repeal the Anti-Vagrancy Law, they will attempt to legalize every homosexual behavior in the Philippines, and possibly introduce same-sex marriage in our country. Please note that the bills they are endorsing have a repealing clause that will incapacitate all our criminal laws. Through these laws, homosexuals will have a freehand on any behavior they choose.

4. LADLAD does not represent a group that is marginalized by society. I argue that because homosexuality is something that is vaguely understood by the people, discrimination springs from ignorance and misconceptions (quoting Hon. Etta Rosales on her introductory note for HB634), and not from a malicious intent of judgment. After all, persons with good experiences with homosexuals tend to love homosexuals - notwithstanding the efforts of the gay community to desensitize the public through their independent "gay" films like DayBreak, Dose, Ang Lihim ni Antonio, just to name a few. If truly the gay community is marginalized, gay parades, gay beauty pageants, gay films, gay magazines and other manifestation of "gayness" will not be allowed in Philippine society. But the fact is they are accepted by the public, and the true cases of homosexual discrimination may be caused by poverty or ignorance.

5. LADLAD represents a behavior-based group, not like the other sectors enumerated in Section 5 of RA 7941. They do not rest on substantial distinctions (People v. Cayat) that have relative permanency (such as the elderly or women), but only on superficial difference that changes relatively in time. As such, they may represent a group that may recklessly impose their own behavior standards on the public. They represent a group that promotes and celebrates the homosexual lifestyle - cruising, gay-bars, same-sex relationships and sexual activities. I don't think the law (RA7941) was created for the purpose of including behavior-based groups. If you will allow LadLad to be a candidate for partylist, then we should also allow shoppers, car enthusiasts, pedophiles and mountain hikers to file their candidacies as well.

We shall all be praying for you as you make your decision to continue supporting them or not.

Rest assured that our groups are here to provide compassion and care for persons with same-sex attractions. We owe it to God who reveals to us the exact nature of our wrongs and who we really are in His eyes.

May God bless and keep you always!

Sincerely Yours,

Rolando C. delos Reyes II
Courage Philippines


Dear Mr. de los Reyes,

Thank you for your letter expressing your concern for my support for Ang Ladlad. While I respect your opinion, I feel that you and your group may have some misconceptions about the support that I extend them.

While it is true that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender group have achieved tremendous strides in receiving public acceptance for their chosen lifestyle over the past few decades, we cannot deny that there is still a large segment of our countrymen who would still openly or secretly discriminate against them.

The Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police are just two examples, but there are countless others. There are still many fields where openly gay Filipinos do not find acceptance, including professional and amateur sports, national and local politics, and civic organizations, among others.

From my standpoint, any form of discrimination against the gay community because they may look or act a little differently from what we call "normal" behavior is simply unacceptable. I will not engage your organization in a debate over whether homosexuality is an inborn or developed condition. But I know you will agree with me that no gay person anywhere in the world should be deprived of his or her basic human rights.

In the end, it is the Filipino electorate which will decide whether or not Ang Ladlad is deserving of party-list representation in the House of Representatives. You and I and some 40 million Filipino voters will have the chance to determine this on election day.

I hope this clarifies my stand on Ang Ladlad's bid for party-list representation. We may disagree on this one area, but I am sure there are many more where we share a common stand. I hope we will have an opportunity to work together some day.

With my best regards to you and your organization,

I remain

Very Truly Yours,

joey de venecia III

"Sent via BlackBerry from Smart"



In my personal opinion, Mr. De Venecia's support for Ang Ladlad is solely anchored on the "discrimination issue" and is devoid of real knowledge of what the gay agenda really stands for. I hope he is not riding on the issue of "discrimination" as a means to gain sympathy votes from the public at large who unfortunately is largely misinformed and equally ignorant of the matter as well.

In his reply above, he quoted the AFP and PNP among many as "discriminatory" against the gay community. May I suggest that he peruse this article regarding that issue. You see Mr. De Venecia III, entering the military profession is not, I repeat, NOT a constitutional right of every citizen in this country. Certain qualifications and criteria have to be met before you can be even allowed to train in military schools and this of course does not constitute an "unjust discrimination" towards anybody who cannot make it there simply because the military profession demands a certain level of physical, emotional, and psychological fitness for you to be of service. Can you imagine perhaps a wheelchair-bound person engaging in mortal combat with the enemies of the state? In the above example, do you then find it "discriminatory"to forbid physically disabled persons to join the military?

According to the DADT (Don't ask, don't tell) policy, accepting openly gay persons in the military "would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability." Perhaps the ultimate question is - how can admission of gay men and women in the military and police service make it a better and stronger institution than it is now? Do you honestly believe that "homosexual behaviors" are compatible with military service? Don't ask, don't lie.


In response to Mr. De Venecia III's reply above, Brother Rollie sent him this e-mail as a counter rebuttal and a lecture on what would be the possible scenario should Ang Ladlad be allowed representation in Congress:

Dear Mr. De Venecia,

Thank you so much for graciously replying to your email. I could see that you have a genuine concern over the people.

However, I would like to direct you to the two platforms of the Ang Ladlad partylist and enumerate the reasons why we oppose such platforms to be implemented in our nation.

1. Support for the Anti-Discrimination Bill that gives LGBT Filipinos equal opportunities in employment and equal treatment in schools, hospitals, restaurants, hotels, entertainment centers, and government offices.

@ We believe this bill is the wrong answer to the right question, because of the following reasons
* There is no wide-scale discrimination against homosexual persons in the Philippines that would necessitate a nationwide legislation of non-discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

* Cases of discrimination of homosexuals is not due to the persons themselves but to the behavior that they exhibited (or a collective knowledge of behaviors of homosexual persons) – which in authentic criminal law should be judged as good or bad accordingly

* The terms Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity are political terms that only advances the gay agenda and are not recognized in binding principles by international laws

* The Anti-discrimination bill may be used to incriminate people who does not approve of the homosexual lifestyle and behavior

2. Re-filing of the bill to repeal the Anti-Vagrancy Law that some unscrupulous policemen use to extort bribes from gay men without ID cards;

@ We believe that this will just legitimate homosexual persons performing sexual acts in public like movie houses and parks etc.
This is the main reason why gays are implicated using the anti-vagrancy law. Do we mean to put an exception to homosexual activities done in public places?

Please remember that we, members of Courage and other ex-gay ministries, and the members of Ang Ladlad and pro-gay groups, are situated in the like manner since we both experience same-sex attractions. Our difference lies in the choices that we made and how these choices affect not only lives but also the lives of other people as well. Ang Ladlad does not embody our vision, since they would like to implement a non-binding document called Yogyakarta Principles that seeks to legitimize homosexuality by doing the following legislative measures (among others):

1. Repeal criminal and other legal provisions that prohibit or are, in effect, employed to prohibit consensual sexual activity among people of the same sex who are over the age of consent, and ensure that an equal age of consent applies to both same-sex and different-sex sexual activity;

2. Take all necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to ensure that procedures exist whereby all State-issued identity papers which indicate a person’s gender/sex — including birth certificates, passports, electoral records and other documents — reflect the person’s profound self-defined gender identity;

3. Take all necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to ensure the right of each person, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, to enjoy the private sphere, intimate decisions, and human relations, including consensual sexual activity among persons who are over the age of consent, without arbitrary interference;

4. Repeal any law that prohibits or criminalises the expression of gender identity, including through dress, speech or mannerisms, or that denies to individuals the opportunity to change their bodies as a means of expressing their gender identity;

5. Release all those held on remand or on the basis of a criminal conviction, if their detention is related to consensual sexual activity among persons who are over the age of consent, or is related to gender identity;

6. Take all necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to ensure the right to found a family, including through access to adoption or assisted procreation (including donor insemination) , without discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity;

Do you support these possible legislative measures, Mr. De Venecia? Do you not see the extent of influence that Ang Ladlad seeks by running for Congress to implement these measures in our country? Please do reflect carefully on each of these measures and share us your thoughts. Would you still be supporting Ang Ladlad with these in mind? We would be awaiting your reply. Thank you.

Rolando C. delos Reyes II
Courage Philippines


  1. As an LGBT Christian, I believe that God made me like this. I tried really hard when I was growing up as a teenager to be heterosexual. I prayed day and night, but to no avail. I cried it all to the Lord. Then, I went astray. He took me back. He embraced me. He showed me that He loved me anyway no matter what. I pity you brothers for trying to change something God intended you to become. You are already wonderful, without any further changes. I read your letter in darkness and don't see any light in it. It can only mean it's not with the Lord's Spirit that it was written. It was with disgust and hatred. May you find Him soon in your lives.

  2. Dear Anonymous

    Thank you for your comment and I respect your views.

    But I just want to clarify a few things. Our main goal in Courage is not to become heterosexual (although that I think is a good thing) but to conform our lives in Christ - to grow in holiness and chastity, which is a universal call to everyone not just for people struggling with same sex attraction.

    Second, I do not believe that God created me this way - a homosexual. You see when you identify yourself as such, then it follows that you will find nothing wrong in engaging in homosexual behaviors, which, if you will read in the Bible, go contrary to the will of God for humanity, hence, not compatible with living a life of holiness. We believe that our core identity comes from Him who created us, that we are first and foremost created in the image and likeness of God.

    I want to emphasize that our struggle should NOT define who we are. All people have their own particular struggles in their lives, and to define one's self with that struggle would be self-limiting and self-defeating. Our supreme and highest goal is to be more and more like Jesus and by embracing and carrying our cross of same-sex attraction, we strive to follow Him every day, falls notwithstanding. His grace strengthens us and is enough for us to press on and stand firm.